Improve balance and teach your horse to stay in front of the leg in canter.
In dressage, it’s often said that transitions can improve everything! This lesson is hugely beneficial as we’re doing two things at once; firstly, teaching you how to ride downward transitions correctly, and secondly, your horse will learn to stay in the canter by themselves! If like Raffles, your horse drops out of canter, instead of aiding or shoving with your seat, immediately ride a downward transition to walk for 2-3 steps, then pick up the trot and canter again. The purpose of this downward transition is to:
1. Loosen the back so that he can bring his hind legs under his body
2. Strengthen the hindquarter muscles
3. Lighten the forehand and create MORE energy
Interspersing these transitions teaches your horse to take responsibility for sustaining the canter. Mentally, he will soon realise transitions are actually harder work than staying in the canter!